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Lieutenant Gov.-Elect Newsom Delays Swearing-In

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (AP)

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (AP)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / KCBS) – Nobody knows who will replace Gavin Newsom as Mayor of San Francisco. But on Tuesday, the current Board of Supervisors is expected to defy Newsom’s wishes and will try to appoint someone to serve out the remainder of Newsom’s term.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“I’m going to nominate Sheriff [Mike] Hennessey,” said Supervisor Bevan Dufty, referring to San Francisco’s Sheriff since 1979. Hennessey has said he would be willing to be a caretaker mayor; declining to run for office again in November when the next mayor would be elected.

“I think he has qualities that appeal to the broadest spectrum of political viewpoints on the board of supervisors right now,” said Dufty. “And hopefully that would give mayor Newsom some assurance that he could move forward.”

The current San Francisco Mayor decided to delay his inauguration into the Lieutenant Governor’s office because he wanted to have some influence in the process. Newsom has said he wants the more politically moderate board that will be sworn in on Saturday to pick the interim mayor.

Newsom told reporters in Sacramento on Monday he would wait to be sworn into office.

“He’s just created a little chaos around here,” said Supervisor John Avalos. “He has decided that he wants to move on to Sacramento. It’s time for him to do that.”

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Avalos has also asked the board to put Newsom’s 11th hour commission appointments on hold.

“I am taken aback that we’re asked to approve these appointments, but we’re not allowed to make an interim mayoral appointment,” said Avalos.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier voted against the delays.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day we need to be looking at what’s best for San Francisco, and moving these appointments forward is what’s best for San Francisco, regardless of the politics the city is currently going through,” said Alioto-Pier.

Newsom’s decision to delay his oath is in a legal grey area, as the California Constitution states the new Lieutenant Governor should have taken office on Monday. Newsom believes there is legal precedent for delaying the oath.

Republican Abel Maldonado remains in office as Lieutenant Governor, said Maldonado’s Chief of Staff, Amanda Fulkerson, who said Newsom’s team has still not given any specific information on the timing of the transition.

“For planning purposes, it would be nice to know when we could expect to leave office,” said Fulkerson.

If no interim mayor is chosen, the President of the Board of Supervisors would become interim mayor, according to the City charter. But there is one hitch: the current president of the board, David Chiu, could become the next District Attorney.

Newsom is expected to make an appointment soon to replace Kamala Harris who was sworn in Monday as California’s new Attorney General. But Newsom has not yet decided on a replacement, said Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker.

If Chiu gets appointed District Attorney, Newsom would appoint Chiu’s successor to the Board of Supervisors, representing North Beach and Chinatown.

If that scenario plays out, Chiu’s spokesman Judson True said the supervisor would negotiate with Newsom, indicating Chiu would have some say in his own replacement.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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